Honesty from Inside the Broomcloset

This week I have an assignment for a class in which I am supposed to explain “the four pillars that guide my life.”  For most students reflecting on this framework, completing the homework is a no brainer.  However, I have been agonizing over this paper all week.

The four things that guide my life are the love I share with my family and friends, the principles of the Rede,  the passion to pursue my goals, and the freedoms protected in the Constitution.  In that order, which means I have kept my religion and faith from anyone whom it would harm. Namely my family.  It’s not that I don’t want them to know.  However, we do not have the kind of relationship in which they could accept me as a Pagan.  I realize this sounds angsty, but it is the nature of my relationships with some of my family members.  As I think we all can agree, family interactions are complicated.  I am past the age in which that bothers me, but it is a fact I navigate every day.  As a result, I am very closed about expressing my path to other people in my everyday life.  Including professors and classmates.

I consider myself to be an honest person, but what does that mean from inside the broomcloset?  Do I lie on this assignment?  Or do I do when my family discusses religion and step away from the idea?

I’d appreciate some wisdom and advice on this subject.  It’s something I’ve struggled with since beginning my path.

© Ariadne Woods

4 thoughts on “Honesty from Inside the Broomcloset

  1. Honesty with oneself is paramount. Honesty with others is political. Isn’t it self defeating to tell someone something that they will only use to harass you? And family is a prime example of that type of person:) ? I think that how much a person “comes out” to others is their choice alone. Whether it is about politics, religion, or sexual orientation, I think it is always your own choice to make, not to be judged by others unless your behavior contradicts your own self. A Wiccan who doesn’t live by the Rede is as deserving of being outted as a gay man who is vociferously against gays. But if your actions align with your viewpoint then you’re being honest with yourself, and that is what really counts.

  2. Unfortunately I’m often in the same boat. Family I cannot trust. Others I’m selective about with regards to telling them myself. Usually anyone I know finds out through social networks or my blog. Yet, I cannot help being true to my nature. I won’t bow to any dogma. I won’t hide if it means standing up for what I believe is the most plausible thing, if not true in it’s entirety.
    I’ve always felt it easier to express the concepts I’ve found in the Rede as my “ethical ideals” when talking to others. Now, I’m not as cautious and occasionally have to stop myself from blurting it out with family around!

  3. It is a heavy burden having to go around choosing your words when it comes to what you believe in. I am in the broomcloset myself as well, but if I was directly asked, I would try and mention it with words that might not sound too threatening to judging, non-pagan ears. Sounds like PW and Elfkat are on the same track, maybe you can mention it in a different way so you don’t feel like you’re not being honest but you’re not risking that big a judgement.

    How did you manage it in the end? Keep us posted 🙂
    Blessings and light

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